Antifungal pessaries (for vaginal thrush)

Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Antifungal pessaries are used to treat vaginal thrush. Vaginal thrush is caused by an overgrowth of a fungus known as Candida albicans. This infection causes symptoms such as itching, swelling, and thick, white odourless discharge. These medications will prevent the growth of the fungus and clear the infection. They may contain ingredients such as Clotrimazole or Isoconazole.

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Insert one pessary into your vagina every night, as deeply as possible.
  • Some products only require a one-night dose. Whereas other products require you to insert a pessary for 3 to 6 nights. Complete the entire course.
  • Do not stop using your medication without checking with your healthcare professional. Stopping too soon may cause the infection to come back.
  • Avoid sexual intercourse during the period of treatment
  • You may consider using a panty liner during the duration of treatment to absorb any discharge.
  • Do not use tampons, intraviginal douches, spermicides or other products to be used in the vagina when you are using this medication. 

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose. 

What precautions should I take?

  • Wash your hands before and after handling the pessary
  • Inform your healthcare professional if:
    • You are allergic to this medication or any of the other ingredients of this medication
    • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding
    • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Mild stinging, itching and redness may occur at the affected area. 
    • If these symptoms do not resolve or worsen, stop the medication immediately and consult your health care professional.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
 If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Signs that you may require further medical attention include:
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge which is either green, yellow, or with a fishy smell
  • Have symptoms which differ from previous vaginal thrush infections
  • Have had 4 or more cases of vaginal thrush within the last year
  • Symptoms reappear after 2 months
  • Previously had a sexually transmitted infection
  • Have a weakened immune system
  • Continue to have symptoms 3 days after your last dose of the medication
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Do check with your healthcare professional if other topical medications can be applied together with this medication

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children.

Discard this medication within a year after opening unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore.

Last reviewed on Feb 2020 
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